Hull City is Chelsea’s desperate chance to get back on track


Chelsea make the trip to face Hull City at the KCOM Stadium in the FA Cup fourth round having recorded just one point from their last two outings in the Premier League, reports agencies. As for the Tigers, two successive defeats in the Championship have led to the club dropping down to 12th position in the table.

Frank Lampard has watched his Chelsea side make a habit of producing inconsistent performances throughout the season, and it has been no different for the Englishman over the past week. The Blues dominated at Newcastle United and played with a man advantage against Arsenal for over an hour, yet Lampard's team were only able to record one point from a possible six.

Despite the obvious disappointment after conceding a last-gasp goal at St James' Park, twice failing to hold onto a lead against rivals Arsenal on Tuesday night would have hurt Lampard and his team, especially with the Gunners using a makeshift defence and midfield due to the dismissal of David Luiz.

The 2-2 draw further highlighted why Lampard remains so demanding regarding his team's struggles in the final third, and Saturday will represent a chance for the likes of Michy Batshuayi to stake his claim for a regular spot.

Tammy Abraham has just four goals from 13 outings, leaving Batshuayi with a window of opportunity to force his manager's hand when the team return to Premier League action on February 1. Hull will be relatively pleased with their season so far, sitting 15 points clear of the relegation zone and just seven adrift of a place in the playoffs. However, successive 1-0 defeats to Fulham and Derby County will have led to Grant McCann demanding more from his players ahead of welcoming Chelsea to Humberside.

The Tigers earned their place at this stage of the competition with a dramatic 3-2 victory at near-by Rotherham United, despite entering the closing 25 minutes of the game trailing by a 2-1 deficit. Tom Eaves netted a hat-trick on that occasion, and the frontman will hope to be given the chance to build on his seven-goal tally for the season at the weekend.

Having recovered from a glute injury, Marcos Alonso should come back into the team at left-back, with academy Tariq Lamptey coming into contention on the opposite side. Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori are expected to return in the centre of the backline, with Mateo Kovacic potentially being used as the holding midfielder behind Ross Barkley and Mason Mount.

Pedro will replace either Willian or Callum Hudson-Odoi on the flank, with Batshuayi taking the spot of the injured Abraham down the middle. Despite his knee injury not being as bad as initially feared, Reece James is unlikely to feature in the starting lineup. While McCann will likely make alterations, he may still opt to hand Jarrod Bowen an opportunity to impress against higher opposition at a time when clubs are debating whether to launch a £20m bid for  his services.

Martin Samuelsen will hope to make his first start for the Tigers after signing from West Ham, while Eaves is in line to replace Josh Magennis in attack. Defensive trio Matthew Pennington, Callum Elder and Jordy De Wijs have all been ruled out through injury.